Web design and features are a lot like fashion in a way – trends and looks come in out of style with the changing seasons.
Current styles find lots of sites copying what I can only call Web2.0ish designs drawn from some of the more popular blog templates. While I personally kind of like this style I wonder if enough business owners question what look and feel, as well as content and features, really makes the most sense for their business?
Blindly mirroring current in trends and shiny new web toys, ignores the most important questions – what works for your target market and what delivers on your marketing goals? Of course, that means you would need to have addressed both of those issues at some point though doesn’t it?
The website that makes the most sense for your business is the one that helps a prospect gain trust and get information. For most, this is about good content, easy navigation and simplicity. Copying the mega news site you like to read may not allow your visitors to get what they came for. In fact, small is one of your advantages. Your website can actually look too big time – particularly if it confuses. Most small business owners should view their website as an extension of the lead generation, nurturing and conversion process. So, what brand do you want to display in that process, through your online presence?
Does video, social software, chat, user-generated content make your site better? Maybe, maybe not. What’s does your prospect need and want?
I’m not necessarily making a case for bad design or featureless simplicity, just design, content and engagement that fits your business and your prospect. In most cases, simple is better.